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Year in Review: Nation

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Year in Review: Nation
(Photo: AP /Gerald Herbert)







President George W. Bush leaves the podium in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008, after delivering a statement about the transition to the administration of President-elect Barack Obama. (AP photo/Gerald Herbert)

With his election by the board of directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in May, Benjamin T. Jealous — a 35-year-old former news executive and lifelong activist shown here outside the group’s Baltimore headquarters — became the youngest president in the organization’s history. (AP photo/Lawrence Jackson)

New York Lt. Gov. David Paterson (left) is applauded by Russell Simmons (center) and New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo during the annual Martin Luther King Day observance at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network House of Justice in New York on Jan. 15, 2008. In one of 2008’s first true bombshell stories, Paterson became both the first black and first blind governor in the history of New York, following former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s shocking resignation as a result of his involvement in a prostitution scandal. (AP photo/Richard Drew)

New York Police detectives Marc Cooper (left), Gescard Isnora (center) and Michael Oliver talk to members of the media at a news conference held Friday, April 25, 2008, in New York. The three detectives were acquitted in April of all charges stemming from the 50-shot killing of unarmed groom-to-be Sean Bell on his wedding day in November 2006, a case that put the New York Police Department at the center of another dispute involving allegations of excessive use of firepower. (AP photo/Dima Gavrysh)

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick steps away from the microphone after addressing the media during a news conference in the mayor’s office in Detroit on March 24, 2008. Kilpatrick, once a rising star in American politics who embraced his image as Detroit’s “hip-hop mayor,” watched his promising career come to a crashing halt in 2008. The beginning of the end for Kilpatrick came when sexually explicit text messages surfaced that appeared to contradict his own sworn denials of an illicit affair with former top aide Christine Beatty. He resigned his office on Sept. 18, 2008, as part of a plea bargain in which he pled guilty to charges of obstruction of justice. In the process, Kilpatrick admitted to lying under oath numerous times, among other transgressions. (AP photo/Charles Osorio)

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, greet supporters at a rally in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Monday, April 21, 2008. The former first lady and New York senator saw her dreams of becoming the first female president fall, at least temporarily, when she was bested by Obama in their extremely hard-fought duel for the Democratic presidential election. By year’s end, however, Hillary had proven her mettle as a legitimate force in American politics and in the Democratic Party, earning the sought-after post of Secretary of State in the Obama administration. (AP photo/Elise Amendola)

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., waves as he returns to his Hyannis Port home on Monday, one week after undergoing surgery to treat a cancerous brain tumor. The Bay State’s longtime Senate stalwart was diagnosed with the malignant tumor after suffering a seizure in May. He underwent surgery to treat the tumor in early June, returned home one week later, and made a stirring public appearance and speech in support of Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention, held in Denver last August. (AP photo/Joel Page) 

In this image released by PBS, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright speaks with Bill Moyers (not pictured) during his first television interview with a journalist since he became embroiled in controversy over his remarks and his relationship with Barack Obama. The Chicago-based pastor and longtime Obama confidant garnered headlines during the heat of the presidential election, both for incendiary comments he had made in the past — such as saying “God damn America” as a means of condemning America’s foreign policy as the reason for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — and remarks he made to reporters in Washington, D.C., criticizing the U.S. government as imperialist and standing by his suggestion that the U.S. invented the HIV virus as a weapon of genocide against minorities. Obama repudiated Wright’s remarks, severed his ties to his former pastor and delivered a major speech on race in America. (AP photo/PBS, Robin Holland)

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (center), flanked by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson (left) and Hope Now Executive Director Faith Schwartz, announces the “Project Lifeline” mortgage initiative during a Feb. 12, 2008 briefing at the Treasury Department in Washington. Paulson and the Treasury were at the center of some of 2008’s most troubling stories. As the economy continued its staggering descent into recession, Americans lost their homes in record numbers and the Bush administration presided over “bailouts” of failing Wall Street institutions to the tune of more than $700 billion. As the year drew to a close, Congress had rejected a bid for similar relief by the nation’s “Big Three” automobile manufacturers. With more employers shuttering factories and handing workers their pink slips, when and how the nation’s economic tumble will end remains unclear. (AP photo/Kevin Wolf)